How Can I Tell How Attractive I Really Am?

How Can I Tell How Attractive I Really Am?
20 Shares

Hi Evan,

I have been reading your blog for over a year now and I have also bought your book Why He Disappeared. I enjoy a lot of the advice and generally agree with most of it.

You generally maintain the reason why people are single is they over-assess themselves and rate themselves higher than what they originally are. Like a 6 thinking she is an 8. So my question today is basically this: how do you correctly analyze yourself? I always feel like asking people I am around (good friends, coworkers etc.) but I am scared it might ruin things/make things uncomfortable and basically they might tell me what I want to hear.

So is there an objective way to quantify yourself so that you are clear in where you stand? —Sharon

Thanks for the self-aware question about not being entirely self-aware.

I’ve always used a metaphor to describe people and their attractiveness ratings.

Think of it like a clothing store.

You’re introducing a new brand of milk. It’s no different than anyone else’s 2% milk, but it’s your unique packaging. You’re targeting wealthy people who want the best of the best in everything. To that end, you price your milk at $10/gallon.

Nobody buys it.

Does anyone that you want to date want to date you back?

There’s nothing wrong with the milk. It’s just not finding its target market.

You lower the price to $9. $8. $7. $6. $5…

Your mind is blown because you thought that your milk was different and special and it turns out that no matter how strongly you felt about your unique brand, other people — your buyers – only valued it at a lesser rate.

It’s basic supply and demand and it’s about the only way to see what your value is.

Sure, you can put your face up on HotOrNot or buy one of those Ugly iPhone apps to gauge your “scientific” attractiveness rating. But that’s not particularly telling.

More telling is this: does anyone that you want to date want to date you back?

If not, you’re overestimating yourself, no matter what “number” you think you are.

Listen, we overestimate ourselves because it’s necessary. No one would want to wake up in the morning, thinking that she’s ugly, stupid, mean, and has bad taste in clothing, music, and décor. But if you look around, there are a lot of stupid, ugly, mean people with bad taste, aren’t there?

So a measure of self-delusion is not only normal, but somewhat healthy for survival.

People respond to confident people and whether the confidence is deserved or not doesn’t really matter, as long as each delusional pot finds a delusional lid.

The only time that this overconfidence bias becomes a problem is when there’s a severe disconnect between reality and fantasy.

The 62-year-old guy who writes to you online when you’re 31? If he starts to take things personally, he’s gonna go through some hard times. He may be a great catch, but if he’s holding out for exclusively women who DON’T want him, he’ll likely be alone for a really, really, really long time.

I don’t judge him. He wants what he wants. But I do feel bad for him.

Everyone becomes choosier online because we’re comparing you to other, younger, taller, richer, smarter people in a way that we don’t in real life.

He’s overestimated himself and forgotten that the 31-year-old could have any man — 30, 35, 40, 45, 50… there’s virtually NO reason she would choose to go out with him.

Flip that over and apply this logic to yourself, Sharon.

If every guy you write to online is a 9 and none of those guys write back, they probably don’t see you as a “9” as well.

Keep going down the list — writing to the 8s, 7s, 6s, and 5s. The ones who start writing back are the ones at your level.

For most people, this reality check is quite a slap in the face.

And that’s exactly why I do it with all my private clients.

I have no tolerance for people who don’t embrace reality and if a fit 50-year-old woman is only going to write to hot 45-year-old guys who claim to want 35-year-old women, she’s most definitely wasting her time.

To put a final point on it, online dating isn’t the best arbiter for your attractiveness number. Everyone becomes choosier online because we’re comparing you to other, younger, taller, richer, smarter people in a way that we don’t in real life.

In real life, your physical attractiveness number is completely affected by your personality.

Overweight women, women with large noses, women who are older — name your physical bugaboo — all become sexier when attached to a bright, vibrant, positive, engaging personality. Which is why the photo test is, at best, limited.

Still, if you’re only holding out for men who have no interest in you, you’re probably overestimating yourself and should take it down a peg. Same exact advice applies to all men, so please, no angry comments, okay? ☺

Join our conversation (323 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 221
    Anonymous

    @Yet Another Guy: I think the reason women find most men on dating sites unattractive has less to do with their actual looks and more to do with how they present themselves. So many men are just clueless about how to create a decent profile. The deer in the headlights shots? Half-closed eyes? Shirtless pics? The ones with a beer in hand surrounded by other women? Pictures like these automatically turn me off. I actually think that many men could be nice looking if they knew how to present themselves. But, it’s that lack of awareness that makes me click “next.” On the other hand, I find that there are many “average” women such as myself who know how to present an accurate image (pics of ourselves looking happy and engaging in different activities), yet men don’t care because they are only focused on our physical features. I’m sure that based on looks alone, some of the guys are at my “level.” But women don’t judge purely by looks the way that men do. We look for something in the photos that would indicate a good personality. And you can’t claim that all the guys I hear from and find “unattractive” are at my level. A lot of guys just mass message everyone.

  2. 222
    Anonymous

    And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…they don’t deserve those women! If we fell for that, we’d be the ones lowering our standards.

    1. 222.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Anonymous

      And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…they don’t deserve those women! If we fell for that, we’d be the ones lowering our standards.

      I can assure you that it happens more frequently than you could ever imagine.   I have been guilty of doing it myself.   The problem with guys dating down for sex is that it gives the women with whom we choose do to so an inflated sense of who they can obtain for a relationship.   It is one thing to get a guy who is more attractive to sleep with you and an entirely different thing to get him to commit to you.     There is more than a grain of truth to the saying that men can be pigs.   The more attractive the man, the greater the probability that he has dated down for sex, especially in his twenties and early thirties when his libido was sky high.     Very few men will pass up an opportunity for easy sex at that age.

      1. 222.1.1
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        I can assure you that it happens more frequently than you could ever imagine.    

        And I can assure you it happens with women, too. I remember being in my 20s and hanging out with my friends. If one of them went home with someone, it was often simply a matter of convenience. He happened to be standing near her and they struck up a conversation. We weren’t casing the place for the most attractive men.

        1. Marika

          Did you and your friends worry, Emily, that that guy would get an unreasonable expectation of his ‘level’ and relationship options as a result…😂

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I believe that we are comparing apples to oranges.   You are talking about hooking up at a bar.   Guys do that all of the time as well.   In that case, the woman usually knows that it is all about casual sex.   I am talking about guys actually dating down for sex.   That move requires a man to pursue, plan, and pay just as he would with a woman with whom he would consider having a relationship, but it is a ruse.   In this case, his true intent is masked behind a wall of BS that serves to make getting laid easier.   He consider her to be little more than another notch on his bedpost.   I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is infinitely easier to get into a woman’s pants when the man is the more attractive member of the couple.   Women have that starstruck look in their eyes like they have finally hit the dating lottery.

        3. Emily, the original

          Hi Marika,

          Did you and your friends worry,  Emily, that that guy would get an unreasonable expectation of his ‘level’ and relationship options as a result…😂

          LOL   We were sure to tell all our hookups that we were the hottest they’d ever do.     🙂

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

             I am talking about guys actually dating down for sex.   That move requires a man to pursue, plan, and pay just as he would with a woman with whom he would consider having a relationship, but it is a ruse. … I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is infinitely easier to get into a woman’s pants when the man is the more attractive member of the couple.    

          Well, if a man is attractive and has some game, he shouldn’t need to play the dating game. He’ll know how to get a woman into bed with minimal effort.

        5. Buck25

          Really, Emily?   Maybe that’s why, when I was single about 25 years or so ago, my recollection of the bar scene in those days is that, for a guy who was mid-to-late forties, fit, could pass for a bit younger in dim light, had some swagger, a few good dance moves and a good line of bullshit (a Rolex on the arm didn’t hurt, either, nor did “accidentally” dropping a Porsche key on the table when pulling out one’s billfold), taking home a 21 -22 year old college girl was as easy and cheap as buying her a couple of drinks (or none, if the “target ” had already had a few).   They were usually very easy to impress. A quick, high-speed drive in said Porsche to the apartment later, most times her panties would be on the bedroom floor, before I could offer to fix her a night cap. No tens of course, and damn few nines (those took a little more work, for not much additional return, when a solid 8 wasn’t noticeably inferior between the sheets). I recall the sex was not typically quite as good as I remember getting from the LBFM’s on Tu Do Street back in my earlier days ( to be fair, youthful ignorance and too much Ba’mui Ba might have clouded my recollection of the latter, but I digress), but hey, these girls were cute…and easy…and allowing for inflation, cheaper, so that kinda made up for their less-than-stellar bedroom skills. I hear the younger generation is somewhat more, ah, “sophisticated” in that department, but I wouldn’t know about that; contrary to opinion in certain quarters here, my lower age   limit, even for casual sex, is some decades beyond that age group…

          Slumming?? Who knew? I didn’t, but now that you mention it, I guess it explains a lot. I would have done a lot more of that anyway, though, if I’d known what awaited me now, lol! These days I feel like Pop, in Grumpier Old Men; Her: “I find you disgusting!” Pop’s reply: “Well, just as long as you find me!”

        6. Emily, the original

          Buck25,
          Really, Emily?   Maybe that’s why, when I was single about 25 years or so ago, my recollection of the bar scene in those days is that, for a guy who was mid-to-late forties, fit, could pass for a bit younger in dim light,
          I only remember having sexual interest in one 40-something man when I was in my 20s.
          (a Rolex on the arm didn’t hurt, either, nor did “accidentally” dropping a Porsche key on the table
          That wouldn’t have impressed me. It wouldn’t impress me now.
          Slumming?? Who knew?
          I was being sarcastic in that YAG is always feels the need to make women know that men will greatly lower their standards to have sex. My point was … women sometimes do, too. Just because a woman has sex with a man does not mean she’s super into him. I have not been super into every man I’ve gone to bed with. In fact, “super into” is rare.

        7. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          These days I feel like Pop, in Grumpier Old Men; Her: “I find you disgusting!” Pop’s reply: “Well, just as long as you find me!”

          I seem to remember Walter Matthau ending up with Sophia Loren and Jack Lemmon ending up with Ann Margaret. Surely, there’s hope there. 🙂

      2. 222.1.2
        Stacy

        @YAG

        I am actually replying to an earlier post where you claimed that ‘women are just as guilty as men’ in terms of age discrimination. This could not be further from the truth.

        Wanting or desiring a man your age or a few years younger or older does not mean you are discriminating based on age. It is the norm to want to grow old with someone similar to your age demographic. However, men ROUTINELY go for women sometimes decades younger and would rarely consider a woman older (unless she looks unusually good for her age). Obviously I know there are exceptions but those are much more rare when comparing the average woman’s choices.   Men are way more unrealistic in terms of this.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy

          For men, age 55 is a hard upper bound for women age 55 and younger.   The percentage of women age 55 and younger who viewed my profile dropped precipitously when I turned 56.   If I set my profile age to be 55, the number of hits increased dramatically.   If I set my profile age to be 50, women in their mid-to-late thirties started to view/like my profile and message me, and women just a year or two younger than my actual chronological age started to message me.    Nothing changed other than my age.     When I changed my age back to 56,   only women older than 56 sent messages.

    2. 222.2
      Emily, the original

      Anonymous,

      And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…

      And women do that, too. Sometimes there’s a sexual option, and you say what they hell. It doesn’t mean any more than that.

  3. 223
    Marika

    Gala

    I agree with you regarding the photos on Okcupid. It’s not huge in Australia, but either the photos/way guys present themselves or whatever, is the least appealing of all platforms I’ve used. It’s a sunnies-on-head-in-your-truck-or-bathroom-selfie paradise! Why? No idea. But if the same survey was taken with Bumble guys: different outcome for sure!

    This height thing…broken record anyone? I don’t care about height, but many women do. Just like men care about breast size, youth and thinness. You’re never going to change other people and certainly not an entire gender, YAG.

    1. 223.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,
      I agree with you regarding the photos on Okcupid.  
      I looked at OKCupid in my area once and there were some strange photos on there. One guy was standing in front of a plant that was so big, you could barely see him!
      This height thing…broken record anyone? I don’t care about height, but many women do.  
      I don’t care about height, either. I also don’t care about a man being heavily muscled. Somewhat toned and in reasonable shape is fine. In fact, the last guy I really liked was about 5’6″ and maybe 135 pounds.

  4. 224
    Shaukat

    But if the same survey was taken with Bumble guys: different outcome for sure!

    Seriously doubt this,  Marika.  I’ve used bumble and tinder a few times in the past and gotten matches and dates from the apps, but I’ve met and heard about many men who get nada, no matter how many times they swipe right. In fact, there was an article in the Huff Post about a year or two ago documenting that a woman in the bottom rung of looks can expect to get matched with a top tier guy on tinder (looks wise), while a large percentage of average men get matched with almost no one. Since the swiping apps are based almost entirely on looks, this outcome would seem to indicate that women on those apps have an even higher threshold when it comes to appearance.

    You can also go find the original OKcupid study and peruse the sample pics of the guys who were rated below average (I think they’re still available) and see that many of them were not bathroom selfies, etc. You guys tie yourselves into knots trying to rationalize away the findings of that survey, and I’m not sure to what end. The notion that women are not at all superficial and don’t care about looks is an insidious myth that harms both men and women, and anyone with any experience knows that when it comes to raw attraction women have a higher looks threshold than men. In fact, the myth probably emboldens those entitled betas and PUA fraudsters who think they can seduce everyone woman with some magic formula or simply show up on a date, act like a supreme gentleman, and get laid.

     

    1. 224.1
      Marika

      Woah Shaukat. Look, clearly you’ve given this way more thought than me. All I’m saying is that the pics on OKC are particularly bad. And on Bumble they are particularly good.

      1. 224.1.1
        Buck25

        Marika,

        With all due respect, Shaukat has a point, at least here in America (your experience might be quite different Down Under-apparently, a lot of dating mores are). Those pics and the OKCupid study were viewable not too long ago (don’t know if they still are), and most of the low-rated pics shown were clearly NOT bathroom selfies, or even particularly bad pics. Pics also indicated a demographic skewed fairly young (twenty-somethings for the most part), so that’s part of it too (I think).

        Then too, everything depends on where you are, even just here in the States. Someone earlier likened POF to McDonalds; in my area, it’s more like a combination low-end trailer park and toxic waste dump, (and that’s on a good day).

        Again though, I agree with Shaukat’s take that in America, at least, women (all age groups) are far, far more visually oriented in their choice of men than they say they are (or maybe even admit to themselves). Seems to me that moral high ground American women like to think they occupy in the dating game, is in fact nothing but   shifting sand (or is it quicksand?), hot air, politically correct B.S, and maybe a little lack of self-awareness as well.

        1. Marika

          Clearly this is a sensitive topic. To reiterate, though, all I said was the photos on OKC are particularly bad. They are the worst of all sites I’ve visited, certainly in my area. I haven’t had the same experience on other sites.

          I wasn’t involved in the study…..and I date men of various heights, amounts of hair, body types, education levels etc, so Buck, you and Shaukat are directing your frustration at the wrong person.

        2. Kenley

          I have seen many post such as yours saying that women care about looks way more than they admit.   I guess I just haven’t seen the evidence of women who say they don’t care about looks at all.   In fact, I would argue that the post where women state that they need chemistry and attraction are ways in which women are flat out saying that physical appearance in combination with other characteristics matter a bunch.    As a woman, I would not be interested in a man who says he doesn’t care about looks.   I want my partner to find me attractive.    I would imagine that men want their partners to find them attractive as well.

          Moreover, we have to acknowledge that online dating puts appearance front and center.   So why wouldn’t both men and women reply unapologetically to the people who catch their eye?   That is how the system works.

          I don’t understand why people are so concerned with or want to shame or police other people’s preferences.   It is an exercise in futility.      And that goes for women who don’t like that men want younger women as much as men who don’t like that women like taller men.   We can’t change what people want.   What is the point of ranting about it?   Especially since the ranting only serves to blind people from the reality that older women do find partners just as short men do.

          It is not lost on me that I too am ranting about something I can’t change.    I know that people are going to continue to huff and puff and tell other people who they should and shouldn’t want and who they can and can’t get.    Still I just needed to vent a little.

      2. 224.1.2
        Shaukat

        No frustration here Marika, I was simply pointing out what I thought was an inaccurate point-you stated that the outcome of the survey would have been different if bumble users had been polled.

        Btw, there’s actually no reason to think that the women who rated most men on the site below average wouldn’t actually date those guys-after all, women do factor in more than just looks when it comes to relationships.

        Also, no need to personalize the exchange. This has nothing to do with who you as an individual would date.

        1. Marika

          With respect, S, you’re way over-thinking my original comment.

  5. 225
    Marika

    Oh that’s a relief, Emily. Wonderful community service you’re providing, ensuring these poor 6’s don’t start thinking they’re 8’s..!! (as judged by that strict numbering system we of course all agree on..)😁

    1. 225.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      HA! We did consider it a community service to let them know we were  slumming to have sex with them. We would NEVER consider dating them.

    2. 225.2
      Shaukat

      Maybe   I   read too much into your comment Marika. We’re good:)

      1. 225.2.1
        Marika

        Thanks :). For the record,  I do feel for men who get no responses online (I know that’s not you). I can’t imagine how demoralising that must be. The thing is, though, I get lots of messages and probably  almost  a 90% response rate to messages I send, and yet I still have only had a handful of maximum 3 month relationships from my 3 year stint online. So it’s not easy for any of us!

        (Not saying I would prefer to be the man getting no messages). I just think quantity is not necessarily the answer.

  6. 226
    Anonymous

    “The problem with guys dating down for sex is that it gives the women with whom we choose do to so an inflated sense of who they can obtain for a relationship.”

    Seriously dude, you need to get over yourself. How do you know these women you “dated down” to get sex weren’t doing the same to you? Most women aren’t stupid. We know guys do these things. That’s why if I get the vibe that a guy is only after sex, no matter how attractive he is, I avoid him like the plague. That’s because I’m not and have never been looking for “just sex.” Whereas women who are ALSO looking for sex might go for it knowing that’s what they’re getting into.

  7. 227
    Anonymous

    @yet another guy: Honestly, you admit that you pursue women you find unattractive just to use them for sex, and then if they actually want a relationship with you, accuse them of having an “inflated” sense of what they should deserve. I guess you must be God’s gift to women since you’re 5″11.5.

  8. 228
    Emily, the original

    Anonymous,

    How do you know these women you “dated down” to get sex weren’t doing the same to you?

    If he’s settled for her, doesn’t it occur to him that maybe she’s settled for him?

  9. 229
    Anonymous

    @Emily: Exactly… people rarely seem to consider that possibility. XD

    As far as this issue of looks is concerned, I was just sitting and thinking about it again tonight (because what else would I be doing at midnight?) And I thought: a lot more people would like the way they looked if we allowed ourselves to do so. When I actually think about it, there are many things I like about my looks, but for some reason I feel like I’m supposed to pick myself apart…why…because I’m not perfect? Because society has brainwashed us into chasing an “ideal” yet unattainable “look” to keep us buying more shit? How is that healthy? I think from a young age women are conditioned to be critical of ourselves, especially our looks, and to tie them very closely to our self worth and “market value.” Why do we even want to attract men who only see “value” in our appearance? And furthermore, why can’t we just accept ourselves as beautiful? I realized tonight that I am beautiful, and it’s ok to think so! I don’t have to hate my looks because they’re not this way or that. I don’t have to hate MYSELF because my looks don’t “measure up” to someone’s arbitrary standards. The people who DO think that way are the ones to be pitied! I might sound preachy right now but I don’t even care. I feel on the verge of a personal breakthrough, a step closer to ending this struggle that has plagued me for most of my life.

    1. 229.1
      Emily, the original

      Anonymous,

      I think from a young age women are conditioned to be critical of ourselves, especially our looks, and to tie them very closely to our self worth and “market value.”  

      Yes, I agree. As a general rule, at least with the men I’ve been with, they are much less self-conscious. No matter what they look like, they get into the boudoir and hastily remove their clothes. Whereas a woman has packaged herself in a lingerie outfit to accentuate her best assets or she is adjusting the lighting!   🙂

  10. 230
    Anonymous

    Also, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this has been such a big issue for me, as it shows how vain I am. But I guess I bought into the “beauty myth” and got brainwashed just like the men i complain about. XD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *